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Alan Heymann
202-787-2616
Alan.Heymann@dcwater.com
Mayor’s Task Force on Bloomingdale Flooding Announces Short-Term Relief Measures
Storm Drains and Porous Pavement to Be Installed, Rain Barrels Offered
Sep 07, 2012 -- Mayor Vincent C. Gray today announced three short-term measures to lessen the impacts of flooding in the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park neighborhoods. DC Water, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) will implement these solutions as part of their work on the Mayor’s Task Force on the Relief of Flooding in Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park.

The two neighborhoods have suffered from overland flooding and sewer backups on multiple occasions this summer because of heavy rains and outdated sewer infrastructure. In response, Mayor Gray formed the task force to identify short- and long-range solutions to the flooding problem. The Mayor named City Administrator Allen Y. Lew and DC Water General Manager George Hawkins as co-chairs of the task force.

The short-term measures include:

���     Analyzing the effectiveness of, and installing additional, storm drains in affected areas;
���     Installing stormwater-retention features in the affected area to lessen runoff due to heavy rains; and
���     Assisting residents in the neighborhood with installation of rain barrels to collect runoff from rooftops during storms, thereby decreasing the stormwater loads that the sewer system must handle.

"DC Water has been busy analyzing the causes of the problem, working with affected homeowners and doing long-term planning," said Mayor Gray. "These three mitigation efforts represent the first tangible results from the Task Force, which brings DC Water together with other agencies and neighborhood residents. This is a good first step toward some much-needed relief."

The stretches of road most susceptible to flooding have been the 500 and 600 blocks of Florida Avenue NW and the 100 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW.

"The District is coordinating all appropriate agencies to address this issue as quickly as possible," said Lew. "The immediate goal is to intervene and redirect some of the overland water flow that caused the flash flooding and prevent it from threatening the homes in these neighborhoods."

Storm Drains
With funding from DC Water, DDOT will analyze the number and effectiveness of storm drains in the 500 and 600 blocks of Florida Avenue NW. DDOT will then construct additional storm drains as needed, tying them into a part of the District’s sewer system that does not get overwhelmed during rainstorms. The analysis for this work will begin immediately, with any design and construction to begin within 45 days.

Stormwater Retention
With funding from DC Water, DDOT will design and install porous pavers, tree boxes and other water-capturing features in the sidewalk along the 100 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW. This project will retain stormwater and mitigate the effects of flooding in the street. The analysis for this work will begin immediately, with construction to begin within 45 days.

Rain Barrels
DC Water will provide a one-time grant of $250,000 to DDOE for an expansion of the RiverSmart Homes program specific to neighborhoods along the Northeast Boundary Trunk Sewer. The goal will be for thousands of individual households to disconnect their downspouts and install rain barrels, reducing the stormwater that runs off into the combined sewer. Rain barrels and downspout diversion will also help keep flooding away from homes with installed backflow preventers. DDOE will begin taking applications for rain barrels installed through this program October 1st.

"We are pleased to join the other agencies in the Task Force in developing these short-term solutions," said DC Water’s Hawkins. "The long-term solution is well documented, but it won’t be here fast enough. Our next step is to summarize and present the work of our 10-person engineering team on medium-term solutions that would capture stormwater before it gets to Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park, or take it away faster. We hope to do this in the next several weeks."

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